San Diego Skyline at Dawn

More Signs of the Diabesity Merger at ADA2023

We’re packing our bag for San Diego and the 83rd Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, which starts on Friday. This is not a meeting that has been a regular habit for ConscienHealth. But this year it seems ADA2023 will be another milestone in the ongoing diabesity merger. That almost too clever term first arose in the 1970s.

Half a century of change has brought us to a place where the overlap of these two diseases is now an unmistakable reality in clinical practice.

The Obesity Embedded in a Diabetes Meeting

It takes little more than a glance at the agenda to recognize how clearly obesity is embedded into the ADA Scientific Sessions this year. Writing for Medscape, Miriam Tucker says obesity care “will take center stage” at the meeting. Five big clinical trials will be in the spotlight for the meeting and four of them are in obesity care. Three are all about new incretin therapies. This is the class of drugs that is upsetting everyone’s preconceived notions about the possibilities for treating obesity.

One of the soundbites you will likely hear is that daily oral semaglutide might be just as effective as a weekly injection. You will probably also hear that Tirzepatide (Mounjaro) works quite well in patients with both diabetes and obesity. And coming up right behind these two breakthrough obesity medicines is a string of additional promising options from Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novo Nordisk, and others. And don’t forget surgery. New data from the ARMMS-T2D Consortium will offer new insight into the benefits of metabolic (i.e. bariatric) surgery in persons with type 2 diabetes.

On top of that, two distinguished obesity scientists, Matthias Tschöp and Elizabeth Parks, will be presenting major award lectures. Yes, this will be four days packed with news about obesity and its overlap with diabetes.

Why Does Obesity Cause Diabetes?

If you want to study up in preparation for this meeting, we can recommend this perspective from Sam Klein and colleagues, explaining what we know about why obesity causes diabetes. In short, it causes both insulin resistance and β cell dysfunction. That’s why we see diabetes rising as obesity rises. That’s also the reason that diabetologists are finally recognizing that overcoming type 2 diabetes will require taking obesity seriously – like any other chronic disease.

It only took half a century.

Click here for more on ADA2023 and the diabesity milestone taking shape there. For the final program, click here, and for the abstracts, click here.

San Diego Skyline at Dawn, photograph by Navid Serrano, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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June 21, 2023

One Response to “More Signs of the Diabesity Merger at ADA2023”

  1. June 21, 2023 at 8:58 am, Allen Browne said:

    Better late than never.

    Kids get T2DM, too. Fortunately the data about response to MBS looks better than with adults. Unfortunately it appears to be a more aggressive disease with vascular complications occurring sooner.

    Don’t forget the kids.